Love In The Right Place, Wrong Time

Dr. John was a relatively obscure musician (outside of New Orleans) until he performed the song, “Right Place, Wrong Time” which became a Top-Ten hit and won him one of his six Grammy Awards. The song had lyrical contributions from several artists including Bette Midler and Bob Dylan and related a tale of ironic bad luck and failures.

Love often finds us in the right place and the wrong time. More precisely the right person and wrong time where one or both of you are unable to recognize that which is right before you. Sometimes you become friends, more likely is that you each go on to other relationships, maybe even happiness, but still not what might have been.

Perhaps you were too young and had no true understanding of what love is? You relied on advice from friends and were open to advances from strangers. Monogamy, sacrifice, dedication, transparency, and vulnerability were words you could spell, technically believed their definition, but had yet to incorporate them into your lifestyle. Maybe you were too shy or immature or too damn busy with your career to take notice?

Maybe you were enthralled with another, in a relationship or just coming out? The mind so occupied that you were unable to begin something new. Perhaps you never met at all, possibly in the same event at the same time but the universe conspired to keep you apart.

But the universe doesn’t always conspire against you. Sometimes if gives you second chances to discover what might have been? You meet at a college reunion, get a Friend request on Facebook, see their picture on an Internet dating site. Life gives you second chance, very rarely does it give you three. So when that second chance comes… what are you going to do?

  • I wrote this well over a year ago. I ran across it in my unpublished stories and decided to send it out into the universe.

The Alpha Males Of The White House

There’s something troubling about some of the men in the White House and their relationships with women. Let’s start arbitrarily with Rob Porter, famous for having battered his two ex-wives and dating Hope Hicks, shortly after she ended her relationship with married Corey Lewandowski. Donald Trump once told Hicks in a meeting, she was the “best piece of tail Corey ever had.”

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As news is breaking about Scott Pruitt carrying a woman on the payroll for several months as the Associate Administrator of the EPA’s Office of Policy, without her ever showing up for work for months, except to go on a trip to Morrocco and Paris with Pruitt and others. It turns out Samantha Dravis, who had a similar position in the Bush administration is also a former girlfriend of Rob Porter.

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Donald Trump, who once said “if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” and has compared both porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal that he was sleeping with to his daughter. Is being sued by multiple women for charges ranging from slander to rape. Some have remarked that Samantha Dravis bears a resemblance to Ivanka Trump as well. Trump’s marriage which is characterized by separate bedrooms and multiple nondisclosure agreements with women, may well have had room for one more?

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During the campaign, staffers A.J. Delgado and Jason Miller had a secret relationship. The relationship ended soon after Delgado told Miller she was pregnant He was concerned how he was going to tell his wife who was also pregnant. Miller ultimately turned down a job as Communications Director. He reportedly told people he, “needed to make more money in the private sector to make child support payments.”

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Anthony Scaramucci who lasted eleven days as Communications Director was dating Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle and rumored house hunting trips and a vacation in Rome may have led his wife to file for divorce. She took the high-ish road of saying she wanted a divorce, “after getting fed up with his ruthless quest to get close to President Trump, whom she despises.”

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These men are not just random men who happened to work in the White House. They are the people Trump likes, still communicating with those he had to fire and trying to salvage Pruitt’s career in spite of all his current scandals. I’m wondering just what happened to the Religious Right and the Moral Majority. Cat got their tongue?

Ben Carson, No You Didn’t Just Throw Your Wife, Candy, Under The Bus?

Why did you do it Ben? You threw your wife Candy completely under the bus when you blamed her for ordering that $31,000 dining room set for your office. And you did it on television while testifying before Congress.

Let’s back up. You have been catching hell for a while now because it got out you ordered a $31,000 dining room set after being told the maximum allowable for upgrades was $5,000. Every move you’ve made since then was exactly the wrong one.

You transferred out (demoted) the woman who informed you of the limit and now she’s suing you. You lied about having no knowledge of the details and amount of the purchase but you were busted by your e-mails. And now you blamed it all on your wife for making the decision which only brings more attention to the fact she doesn’t work there and you’ve been letting your family run buck wild through your department like they were official.

Ben… you’ve been married to the woman for 43 years. She’s given you three sons. When you were starting out and hardly bringing home any money, she stood by you. When they didn’t initially respect you as a doctor, she had your back ( I saw your movie, Gifted Hands). When you ran for President and people mocked her appearance, she sucked it up and took it. When you went to work for the man who publicly said you had a “pathological temper” and compared you to a “child molester.” She swallowed her pride while watching you cast yours aside. And now at the first sign of trouble, you blame her.

I don’t even care if it’s true Ben, this is the time where you take responsibility and deflect responsibility from your wife. Your marriage will still be important long after you’re gone from the Trump administration, rumor has it you may be gone sooner than you think anyway?

So, what to do now? Go to Candy, apologize for having disparaged her, ask her for direction and do whatever she says. It may take a long time to get back to normal but I have faith in you Ben. One last thing, get another job. To be honest you weren’t doing all that well anyway. You weren’t really helping anyone except your own family and they can go back to earning a legitimate living like the rest of us. You might not get out of the dog house for a long time but you can slowly get your pride back at least. And no more running for President! It’s not a good look on you.

That’s all Ben, I’m just trying to look out for you like I know you would for me.


A Friend

Some Places Are Not For Staying


In 1996, Prince released a cover of The Stylistics, “Betcha By Golly Wow.” Before he began singing, he said, “Sometimes the words of another… seem to work out fine.

In the movie, “Finding Forrester.” Sean Connery as William Forrester said, ” I helped him find his own words… by starting with some of mine.”

Sometimes you run across the words of others that just inspire you to do something with them. I recently read a poem by Fee Thomas where a line jumped into my mind and has been wrestling with me to write something about it. I asked permission to use those words. “Some places are not for staying!” This is the result.


Some places are not for staying

You may find yourself in them from time to time

They whisper for you to stay for they are lonely places wanting the company of your misery

They tell you, “Stay if you like”

They pretend to be comfortable places

But they’re not for staying


Grieving is not for staying

We all experience loss and handle it differently

But mourning is for a season, not forevermore

We love a person no less when we move on from grief

Forget them not but wrap yourself in the warm and good memories

Grieving… not for staying

Some relationships are not for staying

If pain exceeds joy or truth is never certain

When what you deserve is not what you get

Staying may mean blocking your true joy

Some relationships… not for staying


Pride is not a place for staying

Even visits should be short

It costs you much and gives next to nothing

Pride eviscerates truth, honor and trust

All for a momentary satisfaction

It rears its head again and again, when you notice it’s approach you should instead embrace humility and grace

Not for staying

The past is not for staying

Rather than trying to recreate old memories

Create new ones

Live not in the footsteps of past triumphs

Forfeit not the present

Learn from the past, let it guide you

Don’t stay there, it will only hold you back


Love is not for simply staying

It’s not for staying because love is a dynamic thing

It requires sustenance, time and effort

Once discovered it can fade away so keep moving toward the light

Or the darkness of its absence will overtake you

Frustration, Disappointment, Fear, Envy, Hatred, Financial Hardship, Depression…

All places not to stay

How to get out when you find yourself in a not for staying place?

Find someone who’s been there before and knows the way out

Pick a destination away from that place and make plans to go

Pray and act

Pray and act

Don’t pray and wait

Pray and act

Photo: Getty Images

There are places not for staying

Ultimately good for only wallowing and pain

Knowing you’re there is half the battle

Leaving begins with a single step

Some places are not for staying

Wanting To Do Better To Please Someone Else Is Not Selling Out, It’s Just Motivation!


Coming into 2018, many people are coming up with their New Year’s Resolutions, some appearing on their list for several years in a row. Whether it be to quit smoking, go on that diet, or start hitting the gym. They may be things that have no downside, they give you more energy, improve your health. Maybe it’s the year you go back to school or find that better job. You’ve wanted to do it but for whatever reason, you never find the motivation.

Then you meet him or her, someone that either consciously or unconsciously makes you want to do better. Therein lies the rub. You see some people have issues about doing a thing that makes them better, to please another person.

“I ain’t putting myself out there to please some man.”

“I shouldn’t have to buy someone’s love.”

“They’ll have to accept me for who I am.”

“I’ll look like a punk if I do that for a woman.”

Lest we forget, you wouldn’t be doing it for them, it would be for you. They were simply the motivation.

Photo: getty

I think the thing we fear the most is rejection. If we do that thing, whatever it is and it doesn’t result in what you might have hoped for. Your efforts will have been for naught. It is my observation (generalization alert) that women are more likely to object to doing something to please a man in advance, while men are more likely to complain after the fact. Unfortunately, basic man think is that there should be a return on an investment whether it be dinner, a movie, flowers, or the sacrifice of a bad habit. They “can’t believe” that their efforts went unappreciated. Women are more often concerned about getting used, you see they expect a return on their investment as well.

I submit that men and women alike are looking at it all wrong. True enlightenment lies in receiving joy from the act of giving, doing, sharing, solely for the purpose of pleasing another. The benefits don’t go only to the receiving party. The giver is rewarded as well. Often the unintended consequences is that the mere act of a gesture with no reward intended, the effort without expectations… will be rewarded a hundred times over precisely because nothing was required in return.

So if the thought crosses your mind to cook a meal, wash a car, bring flowers, or take a class. Don’t consider it in terms of, what will I get in return? Think of it in terms of, how much happiness can I bring? The return will be greater than you imagined, the benefits unceasing.

How Did We Lose Each Other’s Sound?


“How did we ever lose communication?
How did we ever lose each other’s sound?
Baby, if you wanna, we can fix the situation
Maybe we can stop the rain from coming down”

Prince — “In this bed I scream”

If ever I need inspiration to write, Prince can generally provide it. I was putting together a list of songs for another purpose and stumbled across these lyrics. I gave pause to consider relationships that went wrong, perhaps with no crucial reason. The parties reached an outcome that perhaps neither wanted, yet they find the relationship over with closure nonexistent. Time goes by, heads have cooled, the question is, “Can you go back again?”

Maybe it was circumstances, distance, inability to communicate, finances. The first question is, is anything different now than before? If the same thing that broke you up in the first place is still staring you in the face. How can you reasonably expect a different outcome? Have obstacles been removed or (much harder to determine) have the individuals matured. Maybe you see a high school sweetheart at a reunion and are able to successfully rekindle a romance. But that would be two people who have grown through experiences and are now totally different people with some common experiences. If each is able to take the time to honestly assess who the other is now and not see them as they once were, they might have a shot.

What about exes, spouses and otherwise. If you had a long-term relationship as adults. Is your history a plus or a minus? If there was infidelity, why would you expect things would be different a second time around? What about other kinds of abuse? Is the devil you know truly better than the one you don’t?

I’m constantly pushed by those following my writing to open up more about my personal experiences and share my story. After my first wife and I split up after almost twenty years, there was a moment when dropping off children where I suggested we might start dating again. She asked, “Why?” and the answer wasn’t. “I love you so much I can’t live without you and I want you back.” The suggestion was spurred by a loneliness that would soon pass. Neither of us spoke of it again although I suspect it might have generated a bit of conversation between her and her girlfriends. It would have been a reconciliation for a lot of the wrong reasons and would likely have ended with another crash and burn.

Are there past relationships that might be reconsidered? Unless you were one of the two women I married, there are fond memories somewhere that might prove kindling for a fire. There are relationships that never quite got off the ground and one could wonder, “what if?” Then there were those relationships for which there was no solid foundation then and none now.

Thomas Wolfe wrote a novel, “You Can’t Go Home Again.” He wrote, “Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.” Sometimes looking back is freezing up, doing what might seem easier, rather than moving forward and reaching for new stars. Then again, if your previous relationship was characterized by honesty, communication, and something more than lust. If you can honestly say that what once stood between you has been or could be resolved. It might prove that there is enough of a foundation upon which one can build? We each have to follow our own hearts and mind, just make sure your eyes are wide open.

Has Lust For A Body Ever Translated To Love Of A Mind?


I’m a visual person and I am as guilty as anyone of seeing and wanting someone for no other reason than her exterior appearance. I personally don’t really care about the way her makeup is applied, if she had on stiletto’s or if she wore a designer dress. When I listen to women compliment other women on how they look, it’s generally about things (hair, shoes, outfit) that I care little about. I could tell you however, what it is they’re working with and have often been attracted for those reasons alone. But how does that work out?

Men eventually discover, as many beautiful women can attest to. That physical beauty does not a long-lasting romance make. It seems every outside influence like tv, movies, magazines, friends, and maybe family, push men to pursue the physical and not the mind, and that’s a shame. A body can give great pleasure and for a time one can get caught up in it, but eventually, hopefully, you want more.

I’m still at least a little shallow. When I was twenty, I wanted the woman I wanted when I was twenty. When I was forty, I was still attracted to the same type woman (if you need a visual reference, check out the Bell, Biv, DeVoe, “Poison” video). But I eventually matured to the point where I want, A Woman of a Certain Age with at least one physical feature I can adore. It could be her eyes, smile, face, or perhaps the curve of her breasts. I’m much more concerned with the ease in which we get along and the quality of our conversation.

I’ve fallen in like with a body on more than one occasion. There’s always the chance that one could discover there is a compatible mind as well and everything will work out fine? I submit the route with the better chance of long-term success is to seek out the qualities of the mind that will endure through a lifetime. And if you find a physical feature you adore, that will be just gravy on top!

Honest Conversations…

I was having a conversation with a close friend who was describing a relationship she was not in and sharing the reason why. She started telling me about what he thinks, but after a number of pointed questions. It became clear that there was that which he actually said, and those areas where she’d filled in the blanks. Because we’re good friends, I was able to suggest to her that she wasn’t engaging in honest conversation with the man but had superimposed many of her suppositions and created an outcome that perhaps neither wanted. Feeling smug, which I am wont to do after scoring a rare victory where she conceded the point. It didn’t take long before she turned the tables and asks me to consider my own history and wondered if perhaps honest conversations might have created different outcomes for me. She didn’t quite throw my two divorces in my face, I think she was saving them in case she needed more ammunition.

I looked back at my own failed relationships and decided that perhaps I could have done better in the honesty department. I conceded some of those relationships shouldn’t have gone past the first date. Let me be clear that honest conversation is not the opposite of lying. You can tell only the truth without ever sharing the important things that could end a relationship if you fail to discuss them or strengthen your bond should you dare.

An honest conversation starts with how you represent yourself initially. People will naturally try to put their best foot forward and try to make a good impression. I am great at that part of a relationship. Without bragging I’m smart, have a few good stories to tell about myself and am considerate and thoughtful. I’m tall (which by the way isn’t a character trait) and have some remnants of the athletic build I had in college. But an honest conversation would include weaknesses I’m reluctant to share. Pride has humbled me on more than one occasion and I don’t readily trust others to accept things about me which I would immediately accept in them. I’m slow to acknowledge (or discuss) that a relationship isn’t working and do what it takes to get it back on track.

I recently had dinner with someone with whom a relationship had ended badly. At her request, we met and talked and shared some of the things we didn’t say to each other when it might have mattered. She apologized for her role and me for mine. We might not have survived anyway but an honest conversation could have made a difference. I was able to remember the things I originally liked about her.

Another woman once asked me, “You seem too good to be true, what’s wrong with you?” I gave her an accurate list in that everything I mentioned was true. It was an opportunity to say the things I feared to say and I missed it. Second chances don’t always come around. There are some people I would say, I’m sorry” to. There are some apologies perhaps to me owed. The point is, we can all do better; me, my friend, perhaps you? When given the chance, try providing more than just a truthful answer. How about an honest one?

When You’re On a “Need to Know Basis”

Everybody’s got shit in their past they wish they’d never done and wish would simply go away, never to be discussed ever. A variation of that is someone that has something done to them that bring up terrible memories like rape or abuse. They think people will perceive them differently, possibly find them unworthy. Compound that with even a little bit of pride and you can create a vicious cycle in which secrets come between you and your partner. When your partner is on a “need to know basis” and you decide they don’t. How does that end up working out well?

My agent/writing coach would tell me that this would be an excellent time to provide an example from my own life as to how secrets have impacted my relationships. “How did it make me feel?” Well, I’m not one of those writers (at least not yet) that will bare my entire soul for the sake of my craft. I don’t begrudge anybody for that but it’s just not me. Most of the world for me truly is on a “need to know basis,” but if I’m forming a partnership with a woman. There comes a point where there is much that needs to be shared or I’m placing limits on intimacy and barriers to communication. I’m not talking about naming people you’ve slept with or divulging the deepest secrets of friends. I am talking about the events in your life that inform all that you do that you refuse to discuss.

These aren’t first date kinds of conversations although certain things probably ought to come up sooner than later. I’m talking about when you’re at a point where things are getting serious and there are some things that you should know and that you should share. The longer you wait though, the harder things are to bring up.

In my semi-player, manipulative days, I would casually reveal highly personal details about myself to create a false sense of intimacy. None of the things I really wanted to be kept hidden, but enough to accomplish my limited selfish goals. My goals have changed and I want more now than I ever did before. I recognize I have to give true and full access to myself and have also come to expect the same. It is normal for people to be reticent to reveal their deepest and darkest secrets. It requires great risk and facing your fears. If you choose never to… there may be a cost.

In the process of editing this piece, I made the mistake of showing it to the aforementioned agent/writing coach and then heard all of the things I expected. “This is a good beginning” (it always starts with faint praise) but you need to go deeper.” People need to have specific examples of what are deal breakers because nobody’s going to tell you everything. After an intense negotiating session, I compromised and agreed to produce a list of things that ought to come up in conversations early in your relationship, (I’m married, I have kids, I’m being stalked by my just released ex-husband). Things to discuss when things start getting serious, (I’ve served time, my credit sucks, that stalking ex-husband said he’d “kill anyone “ he saw me with or I’m transgendered). And the things you swore never to tell anyone ever but there came a time to share, (I was once a male prostitute, I murdered my last lover, I voted for Trump).

People can dispute at what point in a relationship various things should be shared. My point is that not sharing can ultimately force you to lie and may ultimately build walls between you that can’t easily be torn down.

What You Want vs. What You Need In A Relationship

“You can’t always get what you want 
You can’t always get what you want 
You can’t always get what you want 
But if you try sometimes well you might find 
You get what you need”

The Rolling Stones sang about it, now it’s time to talk about what we want vs. what we need in relationships. My observation is that most people, spend far more time pursuing that which they want without much consideration of what they need. Some have conflated their needs with their wants and are unable to differentiate between the two.

When I started writing this I was headed toward differentiating between wants and needs and suggesting we prioritize the latter vs. the former. The more I thought about it, is it even possible to override a lifetime of indoctrination and suddenly change priorities? If you want something bad enough it pretty much is a need, whether anyone else including your partner thinks so or not.

We are all shaped by our experiences. Maybe you experienced abandonment, destitution, infidelity or abuse. Your needs will be shaped far more by what you’ve been through than anything I might offer up. What I will suggest is, take the extra time and energy to choose someone whose needs and wants are compatible with your own. It’s very possible to fall deeply in love with someone, totally unable to be what you need them to be. Worse yet is someone who pretends to be what you need in order to accommodate wants/needs of their own. Not only will they ultimately let you down. They will also have lost a bit of themselves in conforming to the needs of another.

The point is… and maybe what I wanted to say all along. Is that you have to have serious and honest communication or extremely good luck if you hope to have a successful, ‘till death do you part kind of relationship. You have to discuss each others fears, weaknesses, and expectations in order to even begin to know what you might be getting into. I have a theory that you don’t really know a person until you know their deepest pain. That hurt will inform their choices the rest of their life as they have no desire to repeat it. That could be a good place to begin the conversation.

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